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Dressed to donate

Designer dresses for a special occasion – and a good cause – are just a winning bid away. Dresses and accessories by Michael Kors, Monique Lhuillier, Akiko, Nicole Miller and others will be auctioned on eBay from July 18-28 to support the Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team (SMART), a 24-hour crisis response team of the Surrey Women’s Centre.

The goal of Bid to Benefit is to raise awareness as well as $20,000 for the program.

The dresses, donated by a local bridal shop, range from size 0-20 and retail from $150-$1,295.

“Given the tight budgets we have to work with, we are always open to new ways to raise funds,” said Sonya Boyce, Executive Director. “When a bridal shop approached us with dresses

and accessories, of course we accepted instantly. Then, we put our heads together to figure out what to do with them. We are blessed to have two student fundraisers with us this summer – Cynthia and Courtney – and they knew exactly what to do.”

The call went out for models, photographers and makeup artists to collaborate on an auction catalog.

In the end, the centre had 11 models, two photographers and four makeup artists come together and donate their time to showcase the dresses and accessories. See the video here.

Dresses are new and will be shipped via Canada Post Expedited Parcel with tracking number and insurance.

SMART is a 24-hour crisis response team that provides services over the phone and in-person to anyone who has experienced a physical or sexual assault. The team is available 24-hours a day, 365 days per year to help access emergency medical, legal and social services, in 15 municipalities from Burnaby to Boston Bar.

During an assault, women may sustain life-threatening injuries they could be unaware of. There are only two hospitals in the region that provide specialized emergency medical treatment to survivors of domestic and sexual assault: Surrey Memorial Hospital and Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

Sometimes, the only thing preventing women from getting to the hospital and receiving essential medical services is a safe ride.

Specially trained SMART teams accompany survivors of violence to hospital where they receive critical medical treatment and, in some cases, forensic evidence will be collected to aid in the investigation and prosecution of an assault.

No need for dresses? Donations to the Surrey Women's Centre can be made here: http://bit.ly/VBcoIY

For more information, visit www.surreywomenscentre.ca

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